Alan Baker (1964- ) is an English author with a mixed output of both non-fiction as well as some fiction. His chief interest would appear to be historical mysteries, which led to the publication of The Enigmas of History. This book touches on a number of subjects covered on this site; Noah‘s Deluge, Stonhenge, Amazons and, of course, Atlantis. He briefly discusses a few of the more popular theories; Bimini, Thera, and the Atlantic, but arrives at no firm conclusion, although he appears sympathetic to its existence. In his Destination Earth he delves into the disappearance of Percy Fawcett and the mysteries relating to South America.
The Caucasus Mountains lie between the Black and Caspian Seas and contain the highest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus (Russia). In ancient times it was the location of a number of kingdoms of whom two were known as Albania and Iberia(d) .
Delisle De Sales was probably the first to suggest the Caucasus as the home of the original Atlantis, with refugees from there establishing Plato’s Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean. However, the greatest proponent of the Caucasus location for Atlantis was R.A. Fessenden who wrote an extensive multi-volume work on the subject early in the 20th century.
More recently, Ronnie Gallagher, an admirer of Fessenden, has studied the Caucasus region, in particular the hydrology of the Caspian Sea(a), where he identified strandlines up to 225 metres above sealevel. In Ajerbaijan, he also found cartruts similar to those on Malta as well as stone circles on the Absheron Peninsula(b).
The Amazons of Greek mythology are thought by some to have originated in the Caucasus and as late as 1671, Sir John Chardin reported that a tribe of Amazons existed in Georgia. Interestingly, a 19th century photo shows two armed ladies from Armenia captioned as ‘Amazons of Armenia 1895’.
An added mystery was offered by Alexander Braghine, who recounted that “I was present when a former Russian officer of Georgian origin found himself able to talk with the natives of Vizcaya immediately upon his arrival in Northern Spain: he spoke Georgian, but the Basques understood this language.”[156.187]
Currently, Bruce Fenton has claimed the Caucasus as the home of giants. However, Jason Colavito has demonstrated the unreliability of his claims(c).
I feel that the Caucasus will have a lot more to tell us?
Diodorus Siculus (c. 90-21 BC) was born in Agyrium, Sicily. He travelled extensively through Europe and Asia gathering information that was to be incorporated in his Bibliotheca Historica, a work of forty books divided into three parts. Unfortunately, only the first five books are extant(a). He quotes extensively from an earlier historian Skytobrachion. Nevertheless in this remnant of his work we find Diodorus making a number of references to Atlantis.
He calls the land bordered by the Atlantic and surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, ‘Atlantis’, which would be modern Morocco. Diodorus tells how a great king there, renowned as an astrologer, called Atlas, named the whole region and the sea after himself. Diodorus writes that following the death of the Titan, Hyperion, the world was divided among the sons of Uranus. Accordingly, Cronus and Atlas were given the regions on the coast of Oceanus (Atlantic). A mountain was called after Atlas and the local inhabitants named Atlantioi.
What is strange here is that according to Greek myth, Atlas is noted as the son of Iapetus, yet Plato has Atlas as the son of Poseidon. This divergence between Diodorus and Plato would seem to indicate that Diodorus was NOT depending on Plato for details of his Atlantis story. Plato did not refer to an astrologer and gives a different lineage for Atlas.
Diodorus claims that the people of Atlantis had no knowledge of the fruits of Ceres the Roman goddess of plant growth. This appears to suggest that the Atlanteans did not have cereals and consequently no bread or brewing! It may be worth noting that American Indians also lacked any knowledge of cereals.
He also writes about the Amazons, a warlike tribe ruled by women, from North Africa, where they lived on an island in ancient Lake Tritonis. He relates how this lake disappeared when earthquakes created a breach to the Mediterranean. This latter point may have particular relevance to atlantologists who identify the Tunisian coastal region as the location of Atlantis.
Diodorus gives details of a war fought by the Amazons against the Atlantioi, which they won. He also relates how the Phoenicians discovered in the Atlantic, an island of great wealth and beauty (Book V) and that this island was found by accident when they were carried by the Atlantic currents to its shores.>This could not have been Atlantis as the island was discovered long after it was supposed to have been submerged, leaving just shoals of mud.<
Cerne was an island mentioned in the Pseudo-Scylax as being twelve days sail from the Pillars of Heracles. It adds that parts beyond the isle of Cerne are no longer navigable because of shoals, mud and seaweed. Although some have seen this as a reference to the Sargasso Sea, mud and shoals are not characteristics of the Sargasso, which is a mile or more deep.
Diodorus Siculus (iii.54) wrote of the Amazons fighting the Atlantoi in the city of Cerne. Some commentators have identified Cerne with the islands of Kerkenna off the east coast of Tunisia, where on the other hand Egerton Sykes linked the Cerne referred to in Pseudo-Scylax with Lixus on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
Frank Joseph erroneously claims[108.117] that the only known ‘Cerne’ was Cerne Abbas in England, the site of the famous naked giant carved into the chalk. There is certainly no suggestion of any Amazon invasion there and the physique of the giant was certainly never matched by even the most butch Amazons. Not for the first time, Joseph is blatantly wrong. As in the case of so many other places mentioned in connection with Atlantis story there were a number of ancient towns named Cerne. The most famous such reference is in the record of Hanno’s voyage(b), generally accepted to be along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, where south of Lixus, he settled and named an island Cerne(a).
Baron Jean Baptise Geneviëve Marcellin Bory de Saint Vincent (1778-1846) was a Frenchman with a lifelong fascination with botany and proud owner of a very wide business card. He joined the army where he developed an interest in cartography. His career brought him to the Canaries and other islands of the eastern Atlantic, where his interest in the Guanches prompted him, over two hundred years ago, to write an illustrated work in which he primarily built on the Atlantean references of Diodorus. He clearly identifies the Guanches of the Canary Islands with the Atlanteans and describes the invasion of North Africa by the Atlanteans and Amazons after the submergence of their homeland. Apart from the evidence of Diodorus he has based his conclusions on geological observations, which were that Atlantis had been a large island continent that existed in the Atlantic. He claimed that volcanic activity destroyed most of this island forcing the Atlanteans to invade Europe and eventually to war with the Athenians. Bory believed that the Canaries, Madeiras and Azores are all that are left of this once great continent!
However, in a letter dated 15/11/1822, that recently went on sale, he confessed that his earlier theories were wrong(a).
Azor’s Tale is a story occasionally produced to support the narrative of Atlantis. It claims to be a translation(a) of a document by Diodorus of Alexandria that purports to tell the story of Azor, an Atlantean and his mistreatment at the hands of the Amazons. It incorporates many details of Atlantis recorded by Plato but contains nothing new. The essay includes a pornographic description of the Amazon Queen Myrine’s abuse of Azor’s tail.
The document is considered an obvious forgery and has been attributed to the alchemist Fulcanelli.
Amazons is the name used by classical writers(k) to identify two matriarchal nations living near the Black Sea and in ancient Libya, but at apparently different periods. An extensive website on the subject associates the Amazons with three locations; Lake Tritonis(j) , the Greek island of Lemnos(i) and the River Thermodon, now known as Terme Çay, in northern Turkey(h).
Accounts relating to these remote times are understandably vague but one tale describes the Libyan Amazons as waging war against the Atlanteans, a race who lived in a prosperous country with great cities.
Attention has been drawn to the fact that the Berbers, also known as Amazigh in North-West Africa have a matriarchal culture. The possibility of an etymological connection between Amazon and Amazigh was suggested by Guy C. Rothery (1863-1940) in his 1910 book, The Amazons , and recently endorsed by Emmet Sweeney in his Atlantis: The Evidence of Science. In 1912, Florence Mary Bennett published Religious Cults Associated with the Amazons, which has been republished in recent years.
Another matriarchal society in the same region has also been suggested for the Maltese Islands(h).
Sir John Chardin (1643-1713) a French-born traveller and merchant reported that a tribe of Amazons still existed in the Caucasus in the 17th century(d).
Although the idea may be seen as fanciful, recent archaeological discoveries have provided evidence of female warriors in ancient times in parts of the former Soviet Union. The archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball has written of her investigations into the subject. Peter James offers a solution to the existence of two locations for the Amazons. He believes that the original Black Sea location is correct and that the transference of the story to North Africa was the result of the ‘libyanising’ intent of Dionysus of Miletus, who was later quoted by Diodorus Siculus in his account(f) of the Amazons.
. James offers this explanation as part of a larger relocation of mythologies to more westerly locations. Other interesting views of the Amazon mystery can be found on a number of websites(a)(b).
Lewis Spence advanced the imaginative view [259.49] that the Amazons were not women at all, but men whose appearance was considered effeminate by some commentators. A more rational explanation on offer is that the males of some peoples had little facial hair or shaved (such as the Hittites) and were possibly described by their more hirsute enemies as ‘women’.
The popular idea that the Amazons were single-breasted, man-hating warriors has recently been comprehensively debunked by Adrienne Mayor in her latest book, The Amazons .
>Even more eyebrow-raising is the suggestion that Amazon warriors existed in South America based on 16th century reports and modern research(c). Columbus, in a 1493 letter to Luis de Sant’angel, refers to an island named Matininó, which was inhabited only by women(m), armed with bows and arrows. Hernán Cortés also filed a similar report.<
The Smithsonian magazine published a useful overview(e) of the history of the Amazon story in the April 2004 edition and in September 2011 revealed the story of the little-known female warriors of Benin (formerly Dahomey), numbered in their thousands, who were active during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The BBC published an article in August 2018 on their history and their modern day descendants(l) .